Lidl launches food packaging made from ocean bound plastic

A first-of-its-kind initiative in the UK will see discount supermarket Lidl roll out new food packaging made using plastic collected from beaches and coastline.

Between 80 and 90% of the plastic packaging that reaches the ocean enters from coastlines in developing regions such as South East Asia. The initiative will initially prevent more than 60 tonnes of plastic from being introduced to the ocean per year – equivalent of 2.5 million plastic water bottles.

Lidl will initially roll out the packaging from 30th March across fresh fish products in partnership with supplier Copernus, representing more than 50% of the discounter’s fish lines and including white fish and salmon.

Developed with Copenes, Sharpak and Bantam Materials, the packaging is made from 80% recycled content and a minimum of 30% of the weight of the tray is made up of ocean-bound plastic.

The discounter plans to roll out the packaging across its entire fresh fish range in 2020 and is exploring other uses for the packaging across other product lines.

Lidl has also improved the recyclability of the packaging, which will divert over 200 tonnes from landfill with a new recyclable tray.

This packaging will now be labelled with ‘Widely Recyclable’, in line with On Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) guidelines, meaning the majority of customers can recycle at kerbside.

The new packaging forms part of the discounter’s initiatives to ensure 50% of packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025, reduce plastic by 20% by 2022, and make 100% of own brand packaging widely recyclable, reusable or refillable by 2025.

“We are proud to be the first UK supermarket introducing packaging incorporating plastic that would have otherwise ended up in the ocean, helping to tackle the problem directly as part of our commitment to prevent plastics ending up as waste,” said Lidl GB’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Georgina Hall.

“We are actively looking to extend this innovative solution to other product lines to help reduce the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans and keep our environments healthy.”